• Welcome to the PopMalt Forums! Whether you're new to forums or a veteran, welcome to our humble home on the web! We're a 20-year old forum community with thousands of discussions on entertainment, lifestyle, leisure, and more.

    Our rules are simple. Be nice and don't spam. Registration is free, so what are you waiting for? Join today!.

"Criminals don't follow laws, so we don't need them"

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I've heard this phrase (and similar) quite often and to be honest I simply don't understand it, the logic is nonexistent.

It's popped up recently thanks to the US senate recently shooting down the idea of increasing the scope of background checks for gun sales. You know, those terrible things that prevent criminals, the mentally unstable and violent offenders from owning them. Yeah, fuck the people who are going to get shot by the loonies that benefit from theses loopholes, as long as I don't have to go through a background check!I bring it up because it seems to be a common argument on the pro-gun owner's side.

[I feel like I have to reiterate myself each time guns are mentioned since it always seems at least three people either make up my opinion for me or choose to forget what I've said in the past. I like guns, I think people should have a right to own them. I DO think that people who buy them should be subject to at least a background check, a waiting period and need to have a license or permit to carry them. I think this because I do not think all people are fit to handle a responsibility like this similar to how not everyone is fit to drive a car.
]

Now this logic also applies to drugs very hilariously. I've made the argument before and stammered a few people with it. Because, to put it simply, why have laws at all if criminals aren't going to follow them? Let's just make murder, rape, arson, theft and all these other things completely legal. Why not? Criminals will still do it, why have them, right? This is exactly what the titular logic is arguing and that's why it's so flawed. Drug dealers will always get drugs so why have drug laws? People are still very 'high' on these laws and even tightening them especially in the face of the wave of marijuana legalization yet a good portion of those people fall on this side of the gun argument thinking that more or stronger regulation is useless just because criminals don't follow laws.

Overall I simply don't get it. Why does this logic applicable to firearms and nothing else?
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
Actually that's not the logic. Laws are made so that BREAKING the law becomes wrong, ie muder is illegal because we have statutes that declare it so, and thus there is a punishment. The logic employed in the gun debates is the regulating the use of guns, ie making law abiding citizens go through more hoops to buy a gun, isn't going to reduce crimes because those that use guns in crimes don't go through background checks, or any other regulation. You're misinterpreting the logic being used.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
but if it's harder for everyone to get guns, doesn't it stand to reason that the "everyone" will encompass criminals? or people who shouldn't own one?

and by "harder" I mean at least as difficult as it is to legally own a dog or drive/own a car.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
But these restrictions don't make it harder for criminals to get guns. Criminals don't buy their guns from licensed gun dealers. Criminals don't even buy guns from gun shows. Criminals get their guns from secondary markets. I can get a gun much easier from a secondary market than I can from a licensed gun dealer, and my record is extremely clean, yet I still have a waiting period. So no, everyone does not encompass criminals because they don't go through background checks when they obtain their guns from secondary markets.

I'm all for making it harder to obtain a gun, the problem is cracking down on secondary markets, not making it harder for people already following the law to follow the law even more stringently.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
What constitutes a secondary market?

My understanding of what was voted down earlier this week (I'm being willfully ignorant on this one because I'm frustrated beyond belief so forgive me on this one) was background checks on internet and gun show sales. Am I wrong? And if I'm right, why would anyone be against that?
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
Any market where a gun is not purchased by the regular means of distribution. I can call up a number of people I know and can purchase a gun from them. Any gang banger with a gun was sold to him from another gang banger, from someone he knows, it could have been stolen, from a variety of sources.

To be honest I don't know the particulars that was included in the bill you reference. I do have a problem with guns sold over the internet without any kind of check at all. As far as gun shows, none of the events that have transpired recently were done by people who frequent gun shows, the overwhelming majority of people who attend gun shows are law abiding citizens who don't use guns for illegal purposes. That said, IF we begin to crack down on secondary markets and drastically increase the sentencing for anyone buying or selling guns illegally then we could see an increase in guns purchased at gun shows, so coming up with restrictions for gun shows seems like a sensible idea to me.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
I've heard this phrase (and similar) quite often and to be honest I simply don't understand it, the logic is nonexistent.

It's popped up recently thanks to the US senate recently shooting down the idea of increasing the scope of background checks for gun sales. You know, those terrible things that prevent criminals, the mentally unstable and violent offenders from owning them. Yeah, fuck the people who are going to get shot by the loonies that benefit from theses loopholes, as long as I don't have to go through a background check!I bring it up because it seems to be a common argument on the pro-gun owner's side.

[I feel like I have to reiterate myself each time guns are mentioned since it always seems at least three people either make up my opinion for me or choose to forget what I've said in the past. I like guns, I think people should have a right to own them. I DO think that people who buy them should be subject to at least a background check, a waiting period and need to have a license or permit to carry them. I think this because I do not think all people are fit to handle a responsibility like this similar to how not everyone is fit to drive a car.
]

Now this logic also applies to drugs very hilariously. I've made the argument before and stammered a few people with it. Because, to put it simply, why have laws at all if criminals aren't going to follow them? Let's just make murder, rape, arson, theft and all these other things completely legal. Why not? Criminals will still do it, why have them, right? This is exactly what the titular logic is arguing and that's why it's so flawed. Drug dealers will always get drugs so why have drug laws? People are still very 'high' on these laws and even tightening them especially in the face of the wave of marijuana legalization yet a good portion of those people fall on this side of the gun argument thinking that more or stronger regulation is useless just because criminals don't follow laws.

Overall I simply don't get it. Why does this logic applicable to firearms and nothing else?
There are a few reasons for establishing laws.

Probably the biggest reason is so we have a system to punish those that violate the laws. If someone murders, we can throw them in prison. When someone obtains a gun and a background check isn't run, it seems unlikely that anyone would ever find out unless that person went and committed a crime with that gun. If they did, we're probably not going to bother throwing a small fine at them for not doing the background check, we'll punish the bigger crime.

We also establish laws so that people know what is expected of them (as in the case of speed limits), or because some people follow laws just because they're laws. Neither of those would really apply to a criminal.

The last reason I can think of that we establish laws is for the safety of the individual (seatbelt laws). Which isn't our concern with criminals.

but if it's harder for everyone to get guns, doesn't it stand to reason that the "everyone" will encompass criminals? or people who shouldn't own one?

and by "harder" I mean at least as difficult as it is to legally own a dog or drive/own a car.
Sure, but that doesn't necessarily matter. In this case "harder for everyone" means it's basically just more inconvenient - i.e. "everyone has to pay more money, and wait a few days".

That said, it would add an additional layer of difficulty to criminals - they would have to find someone who doesn't do background checks (other criminals). Or, just have a clean record, as some of these mass shooters have had.

But these restrictions don't make it harder for criminals to get guns. Criminals don't buy their guns from licensed gun dealers. Criminals don't even buy guns from gun shows. Criminals get their guns from secondary markets. I can get a gun much easier from a secondary market than I can from a licensed gun dealer, and my record is extremely clean, yet I still have a waiting period. So no, everyone does not encompass criminals because they don't go through background checks when they obtain their guns from secondary markets.
I agree that criminals don't generally get their guns from licensed dealers, and obviously many get them from other criminals, but how do you know they don't get them from gun shows as well?
 

Shwa

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Someone can have a clean background check and pass as a law-abiding citizen, yet purchase a gun going through the loops and still point their weapon at someone and commit a crime like any other criminal, leading them to that path. I can honestly happen with anyone. The thing about the law is that there is always a loophole on purchasing and dealing of firearms from one organization/company to it's buyer and so on and so forth.

Unless we make it manditory for every person who purchases a gun to take a lie detector test ona regular basis, asking if they have any melicious plans for their weapons within the next couple of months, the government cannot really control guns and those who own them unless we switched to a totalitarian form of government.

~Shwa
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Someone can have a clean background check and pass as a law-abiding citizen, yet purchase a gun going through the loops and still point their weapon at someone and commit a crime like any other criminal, leading them to that path. I can honestly happen with anyone. The thing about the law is that there is always a loophole on purchasing and dealing of firearms from one organization/company to it's buyer and so on and so forth.

Unless we make it manditory for every person who purchases a gun to take a lie detector test ona regular basis, asking if they have any melicious plans for their weapons within the next couple of months, the government cannot really control guns and those who own them unless we switched to a totalitarian form of government.

~Shwa
Given that more than 99% of citizens that own guns legally don't use them to commit crimes it's a safe bet that it's better for everyone to have them rather than take them away from the 99% and give the <1% more of an advantage (we'd see a big rise in crime if guns were actually banned.)

Also, on the subject of a totalitarian government. I know the popular argument is that guns are for self defense, and while that may be true, they're meant for more than that. Having an armed population ensures that the government CAN'T create a totalitarian regime in the first place. They will try to create one, they will bend the constitution, and step on the people (because men desire power).

If you get a few quotes from some of the founding fathers, you get the idea that the second amendment was created for this purpose.

I honestly think that the gun debate is unique (given that criminals will quite literally have an upper hand) and can't really be applied to most other ideas out there.
 
Last edited:

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
I agree that criminals don't generally get their guns from licensed dealers, and obviously many get them from other criminals, but how do you know they don't get them from gun shows as well?
For the most part guns at gun shows are collector guns. Secondly, most of these guns are sold for a very high price and usually not sold in cash and are paid with credit cards creating a paper trail. Thirdly many of these sellers, being gun collectors, record the sale as in to whom and for how much. But, it certainly is conceivable that a criminal can buy a gun at a gun show and avoid a paper trail so some additional restrictions should be put in place.

Going back to the OP, and I mean no disrespect here, I find it odd anyone would be stammered by the argument presented here because the analogy does not follow. First off there is no constitutional right to do drugs, commit arson, rape someone, etc. while there is a right to keep and bear arms. Secondly, that right has been in existence even before our Constitution. Thirdly, there ARE laws regarding the obtaining of guns and their ownership. The argument made by the pro gun community isn't there shouldn't be ANY laws regarding gun ownership but the laws being put forth recently don't address the problems we have been having. I just find the argument to be demonizing policy that they aren't in agreement with.
------
Someone can have a clean background check and pass as a law-abiding citizen, yet purchase a gun going through the loops and still point their weapon at someone and commit a crime like any other criminal, leading them to that path. I can honestly happen with anyone. The thing about the law is that there is always a loophole on purchasing and dealing of firearms from one organization/company to it's buyer and so on and so forth.

Unless we make it manditory for every person who purchases a gun to take a lie detector test ona regular basis, asking if they have any melicious plans for their weapons within the next couple of months, the government cannot really control guns and those who own them unless we switched to a totalitarian form of government.

~Shwa
You're 100% correct, I have a perfectly clean record and can purchase a firearm very easily because statistically speaking there is an extremely minute chance I would ever use a gun to commit a crime. However, IF suddenly I decided to do so there is no law, or nothing really, from permitting me from doing so. The best thing that the person whom I decided to commit a crime against would be to be armed themselves.
------
We have laws regarding drug use because we want to discourage certain behavior and penalize certain behavior. We don't want to discourage gun ownership, we want to discourage using a gun in a crime, ie murder, armed robbery, etc...that's why the analogy is a non sequitur.
 
Last edited:
Top